Summer Squash - Eggplant - Pickling Cucumbers - BlueBerries -
Onions - Peppers - Beets - Garlic - Dill - Cabbage
Yall- it’s August. With cooler nights and slightly shorter days, I am a little bummed by the impending turn of seasons. This bummed feeling is a mix of pre-seasonal-depression and Summertime FOMO (for the over-millennial crowd, fomo stands for “fear-of-missing-out”). For me, this FOMO set in pretty hard at the beginning of the month when I realized I had yet to put up any food for the Winter Pantry. Typically, by this time I have jars upon jars stacked with garlic scape pesto and a freezer full of frozen berries… but this year, oooof, I guess I just got lazy (ha!). So I sent an email to my dearest canning crew, pleading with them to hang out with me (because processing and pickling is better when done in packs, with cold adult beverage in hand). So, this being said, let’s all help each other seize the season, come together over our insane number of pickling cukes this week (and last), and put sh*t up. Post your pickling adventures on instagram, or the fbook, and tag us!!! I’d love to see how yall deal with the onslaught of vine crops and the like! For the Tips section, I am including a few of my personal favorite dill pickle recipes and a copy of a hand out from the good folks behind The Gefilteria (CHECK OUT THIS COOKBOOK, IT IS INSPIRING AND DROOL-INDUCING).
Moving on from my pickling hopes and dreams, the past week was spent harvesting an amazing amount of blueberries well past dusk, weeding the newest planting of greens and brassicas and our perennial crop of strawberries, seeding carrots, praying for rain, and realizing that the Cornish Fair is less than 2 weeks away.
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES:
(quick) DILL PICKLES from the cookbook TART & SWEET
4 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
4 ½ pounds cukes
3 cloves garlic
3 dill heads or 4-5 dill sprigs
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a medium reactive pot. Stir to dissolve the salt.
Place Garlic, dill, and spices in each hot jar. Pack cukes in as tightly as possible without crushing. Pour in boiling brine, leaving ½ inch headspace. Make sure the cukes are submerged in brine.
ANOTHER RECIPE I STUMBLED ON…
Calls for caraway instead of the mustard seed… I am actually leaning towards caraway seeds rather than mustard for my next pickling adventure because that classic caraway flavor found in rye bread or saurkraut seems completely appropriate and potentially awesome here.
FOR THOSE THAT LOVE
FERMENTED FOODS &
(this includes me)
Pickling and Fermentation 101
Presented by Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilteria
author of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Food
Lacto-Fermentation vs. Vinegar Pickling
Lacto-fermentation, also known as saltwater pickling, is a traditional preservation method that utilizes the natural bacteria found on vegetables and fruits in order to preserve them. Vinegar pickling, also known as quick pickling, by contrast, utilizes vinegar to destroy all bacteria found on vegetables and fruits, thereby preserving them in the process.
With lacto-fermentation, we create an ecosystem for Lactobacillus (the same bacteria found in yogurt) to thrive and convert carbohydrates (sugars) into lactic acid. The acid acts as a natural preservative. The end result is not only delicious, but healthy—it aids in digestion and boosts the immune system.
4 Essentials of Lacto-Fermentation
Salt: The salt brine regulates fermentation by enabling positive bacterial growth and inhibiting negative bacterial growth. Use kosher salt or sea salt, nothing with added iodine!
Spice: Add your desired pickling spices to saltwater to infuse flavor into brine. Tannin-rich leaves—such as bay leaves—help keep the crunch. Garlic, dill, mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, chili peppers and cinnamon sticks are standards.
Produce: Choose the freshest, thinnest cucumbers possible. Kirby is your best choice variety, but you can replace cucumbers with green beans for similar flavor results and a consistent crunch.
Patience: The true process of fermentation involves waiting as the bacteria goes to work. Be sure to keep your jar in a moderate temperature space (65-75 degrees F). Keep your vegetables under the salty brine, too. Anything above the liquid may get a tad bit moldy. Note that mold happens often, and it’s ok! Anything white can simply be scraped away/cut off of the veggies. The rest will be just fine. Once your pickles are at their desired flavor point, place them in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process and keep them there and enjoy.
Recipe for Crisp Garlic Dilly Beans or Cucumbers
Fill a pint sized jar with water (2 cups). Add 1 heaping Tbsp kosher salt and shake or stir to dissolve the salt fully.
Place cucumbers or green beans in the jar (as many as will fit! Squeeze them in tightly!), along with 1-2 bay leaves, 1-3 cloves chopped garlic,
2 sprigs of dill,
and 1/2 tsp seeds such as mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, etc. If needed, add more water/salt mixture (same ratio) and cover the veggies, leaving at least an inch between the liquid and the top of the jar.
Seal the jar. After the first two days, “burp” the jar. Check them daily after that. When you like the flavor, transfer the jar to the fridge. Enjoy!
Basic Formula for Sauerkraut
Core a 3-pound head of cabbage, removing any crusty outer leaves (remaining cabbage will weigh about 2 ½ pounds). Shred cabbage into thin slices and massage shreds with 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt, adding a little at a time. The cabbage will begin to sweat. Let it rest and continue to massage until a handful of cabbage drips. Mix in any spices (about 1 ½ tsp spices).
Pack the cabbage into a glass jar or ceramic crock, pressing it down until the liquid rises and cabbage is submerged. If necessary, use a weight or small jar to keep cabbage pressed down.
Seal the jar. Leave on counter at room temp. After the first two days, “burp” the jar. Cabbage takes about 1-2 weeks to ferment. It’s ready when you like it. Keep in fridge to store.